• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/22/2015

    January is certainly marching forward with all the excitement winter weather brings.  And what about those Seahawks!!  There is such an excitement and buzz about the upcoming Super Bowl.  Pete Carroll is often heard to say, “Those that work harder and longer generally win the game. It’s all about that ‘finish’ mindset. You've got to finish right if you want to be champions.”  That certainly described the recent win and not surprisingly also the hard work each of you are doing on a daily basis to support our students in this great district.  Thank you. 

    We had a staff presence at the Naval Base Kitsap Kindergarten Fair earlier this week.  Roscoe and staff welcomed military families and their children as the season of kindergarten registration is now upon us.  Connected to this topic, a determination of which two elementary schools that are up next for free all-day kindergarten will be made on February 1.  We continue to hope that the legislature will view this early education initiative as a priority and fully fund all-day kindergarten for all. 

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the November financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be evaluating additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our January enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    A reminder that you are invited to attend a Community Event with community leaders, staff, parents, and students.  We are holding this event at Marcus Whitman JH on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.  We are providing a light breakfast and lunch as well as childcare.  Many thanks to the local YMCA for providing this service at no charge for this important event.  This event is extremely important as we will be charting our 2020 Plan with the community.  This strategic plan will then drive our resources for the next several years.  I look forward to seeing you there.   Also, In the coming week, we will be launching an on-line component of our strategic planning process.  We are working with Thoughtexchange, which is an on-line service provider that supports strategic planning processes and other community, staff and student engagement processes.  The following video link is helpful in seeing how other districts have used this provider: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zooCJgAyms  I am excited about the possibilities.  This approach provides an authentic engagement process focused on listening to the ideas and thoughts you have so that we might chart the best possible 2020 path for our district.  In moving forward to meeting the needs of the 21st Century Whole Child, it will take all our best thinking and ideas. 

    As we continue to move forward with Innovative Program ideas, I continue to receive interesting video material from staff.  This video link Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve deals with the topic of mindset and the concept of the importance of effective effort on the part of students as well as the expectations we as educators hold for our students.  This is a powerful concept.  I also recently read an interesting idea from the NY Times, Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge  ; another provocative school support idea.  More often than not; it is the small things we do and the  exquisitely simple ideas that pack the most power in getting results for young people.  There are so many ways in which we show we care… 

    Last Thursday, January 15, the Boundary Review Committee had its first meeting with the parent representatives and reviewed the charge for their work this spring.  Each school in the district is represented by two parents and the principal. The committee adopted participation norms and were provided with information from the district’s Elementary Enrollment Capacity Study and from the district’s Enrollment Study.  The committee also received open enrollment information for each elementary school. The Boundary Review Committee’s next meeting is Thursday, January 29 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm at John Sedgwick Jr. High.  The public is welcome to come and observe the process and provide written comments or questions that will be shared with the committee.    

    As the Long Range Capital Facilities Committee continues its work to map out a thirty year capital facilities plan, Mr. Bill Coon, the SW WA Regional Coordinator for the OSPI division of School Facilities & Organization, visited the group and shared our district specific school construction matching money scenarios.  Interestingly, every square foot of school building space in the district is eligible for state matching construction monies due to the length of time since we have done any construction in the district.  Mr. Coon remarked on the rarity of this scenario and indicates it also presents great opportunities for us as a district and community. 

    We had another amazing South Kitsap teacher as the Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight of Ryan Manning from Mullenix .  We are so proud of the work of Mr. Manning and the many amazing and hardworking teachers in this proud district.  Well done. 

    Go Hawks!!

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/15/2015

    What a great week, so full of anticipation.  Students are back into the routine and there is a great deal of energy in the classrooms all across the district.  I have really enjoyed my Breakfast Club and school visits to Marcus Whitman Junior High and John Sedgwick Junior High these past two weeks.  We have such amazing students and staff. 


    What a great play the Sidney Glen students put on last night and tonight as well.  The Harlequin Princess is a lively and entertaining play with an abundance of talent and excitement.  I also appreciate the Director, Mr. Scott Hopkins, and his wit.  This clip from the play describes a strategic planning process of sorts.  It is a nice reminder of how important such a process is to the organization (pack) and its future.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCTLySpFPQ This play production is also such a nice example of how important team work is in the successful project based learning for our students.  It matters!! 


    And so, just as the wolf pack in last night’s play recognized the importance of strategic planning to address their meal planning challenges; so too, our district is working on our strategic plan.  Please know that each of you are invited to attend a Community Event with community leaders, staff, parents, and students.  We are holding this event at Marcus Whitman Junior High on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.  We are providing a light breakfast and lunch as well as childcare.  Many thanks to the local YMCA for providing this service at no charge for this important event.  This event is extremely important as we will be charting our 2020 Plan with the community.  This strategic plan will then drive our resources for the next several years.  I look forward to seeing you there. 


    Have you observed a colleague, student, parent, volunteer or community member exhibiting the characteristics of the South Kitsap School District Vision: Nurturing Growth, Inspiring Achievement, Building Community? If so, please consider nominating him/her for a NIB award. Please submit your nomination to the Educational Services Department.  The deadline for submitting NIB nominations for the February 3 Board Meeting is Friday, January 23. (Please note that this is an extension of the normal deadline of the third Friday of the month.) Reminder: If you are nominating someone who is not an employee of the South Kitsap School District, a current email address is required.  Nominate a NIB


    As many of you know, Kelly Griebel has announced she is planning to leave the district effective the end of the month to spend more time with her family.  We are so appreciative of the many years and hard work Ms. Griebel has provided the school district. We are a better district for her efforts, hard work and dedication.  Because of the timing of Kelly’s resignation and upcoming audit and financial budget planning needs, I have decided to forego a more formal process to search for her replacement.  Instead, I am choosing to simply appoint someone who we have recently interviewed and previously vetted for a leadership position in the Business Services Department.  Please join me in welcoming Ms. Annette Baker to our South Kitsap Team as our new Director of Business Services.  Annette Baker is a graduate of Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Annette has been working in the business services side of public education for the past nine years.  Most recently, she has served as the Budget Manager for Seattle Public Schools.   Prior to her work in school finance, Annette was a manager of Network Planning for Alaska Airlines.  She has a wealth of experience in both budgeting and accounting departments and incredible fiscal management skills.   We welcome her to the South Kitsap family. 


    A reminder that this coming Monday is the observance and celebration of the birth, the life and the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Our local NJROTC is planning to observe the day as “A day on NOT a day off”.  To that end, they are doing several public service projects around the community.  Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”  Our young people continue to be such a great example of community service.  Thank you. 


    Warmest regards,    


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/8/2015

    Happy New Year!!  I trust each of you enjoyed a blessed and joyful holiday break with family and friends.  Winter is such a great season, so full of promise…


    At the Board meeting this past week, ESD Superintendent Greg Lynch presented plaques and banners to two of our schools, Burley Glenwood and Sidney Glen, as they were recognized formally as schools of distinction.  Executive Limitation 2 (EL 2) was revised as district administrative staff changes have taken place effective this week.  This ensures the smooth succession transition should that ever become necessary, thereby supporting stability in the district.  It is also School Board Recognition Month as proclaimed by Governor Jay Inslee.  Please join me in thanking our remarkable School Board for their tireless contributions to supporting education in our district. 


    Among our family of amazing South Kitsap School District teachers, several more have been in the spotlight. The Kitsap Sun featured Darlene Strobis from Sunnyslope on December 15.  Ms. Strobis continues to make such a difference for her third graders.  Another Kitsap Sun Teacher spotlight is on Paula Owen from Cedar Heights.  Ms. Owen continues to inspire, challenge, and support her junior high students.  Well done Darlene and Paula, you are both making a difference for all children – no exceptions. 


    With regard to the continuing district boundary work, each school has identified two parents to join the School Boundary Realignment Committee.  The first meeting of this enhanced group is next Thursday, January 15 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm in the commons at John Sedgwick Jr. High.  Please note that this is a change in location. At this first meeting committee members will review district enrollment,  school capacity data and instructional program locations. The public is welcome to attend. 


    If you are a TRS Plan 3 member, there is a very important meeting coming up for you on Thursday, January 15th, at 5:00 pm at the East Port Orchard Elementary School library.   If you're a TRS Plan 3 member, you may have taken advantage of the annual January rate change period to adjust your defined contribution percentage in the past. Due to conditions of the recent IRS re-qualification of TRS Plan 3, January 2015 is the last time you will have this opportunity to change your rate without changing employers.  Both SKEA President John Richardson and SKSD Assistant Superintendent Misty Dieffenbach encourage you to attend if you are affected by this rule. 


    I want to take this opportunity to again welcome Dr. Bev Cheney as she will be serving as our interim assistant superintendent for the remainder of the current school year on a flex schedule.  I am thrilled that she is going to share her expertise with us and know that we will benefit from her experience.  As the spring unfolds, we will be looking at a new structure for the Education Services, Teaching and Learning, Special Programs, etc. part of the district.  I will be bringing someone in to provide a study of this work and possible organizational structures for the most efficient and effective structure for us here.  I will then be seating a small committee of SKSD administrative and teaching staff to ‘vet’ the structure for us.  I will plan to post the identified resultant administrative openings later this spring.  In another Teaching and Learning Department adjustment, I have asked Ms. Anita Chandler, Mullenix Ridge Elementary Principal, to assume the leadership of the district-wide ELA Committee (she accepted ;>).  And so, in addition to her other duties, Shannon Thompson is focusing on special program compliance and the District Math Committee as well as coordinating other district committees during the spring.  I so appreciate the team approach we continue to exemplify.  It takes all of us to continue to support this great district. 


    In the next couple of weeks, we will be launching an on-line component of our strategic planning process.  We are working with Thoughtexchange, which is an on-line service provider that supports strategic planning processes and other community, staff and student engagement processes.  The following video link is helpful in seeing how other districts have used this provider: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zooCJgAyms  I am excited about the possibilities.  This approach provides an authentic engagement process focused on listening to the ideas and thoughts you have so that we might chart the best possible 2020 path for our district.  In moving forward to meeting the needs of the 21st Century Whole Child, it will take all our best thinking and ideas.  Please also consider marking your calendars for Saturday, January 31, as we will be meeting as a community at Marcus Whitman Junior High from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm in a more traditional community school forum as we seek our best path forward as a district. 


    I want to close my memo this week by acknowledging our district is no stranger to adversity, be it private or public.  The recent lawsuit brought against our district is such an example.  These false and inflammatory allegations against our hard working and dedicated staff are not to be tolerated.  I want to state categorically that we have outstanding staff in this district who work hard every day (and long days at that) to support the success of all students – no exceptions.  These allegations are very hurtful to staff members; particularly as they have done nothing wrong.  Whether or not a situation involves a legal entanglement or an athletic program dilemma, we must be able to manage disagreements in a civil and respectful manner.  At a time when it is so easy to throw out false statements and allegations -- which then often take on lives of their own; it is time to stop and be cognizant that these are real people, with real families and real reputations, who do not deserve this negative attention.  As a district and community, we continue to be mindful that our children are watching not how we say we manage conflict; but, rather how we really do manage conflict.  We are after all, the teachers for so many important lifelong habits. As a district, I am confident we will continue to gain strength from each adversity we successfully meet.  That is how a family works.   


    Warmest regards, 


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 12/18/2014

    Hello Team South Kitsap,


    It is the week before Christmas and all through the district many creatures are stirring and the excitement is contagious.  It is such a beautiful time of the year with such a generous spirit abounding.  I recently received a holiday note that reminded me that; “This season represents tenderness for the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future.” There are so many examples of our students and staff going above and beyond to support those less fortunate in our community this holiday season.  This speaks so highly of the character and grace abundant in our great district. 


    Across the community, over 200 families were adopted as a result of the generosity of our students and staff.  Several thousand food items, gift cards, gas cards, pet food items and toys were collected at schools and departments all across the district and distributed to local families in our community.  The Food and Nutrition Services Community Relations staff group hosted a birthday party for a student who has not had his birthday acknowledged for 4 years (since his mother passed). The only thing he wanted for Christmas was a birthday cake.  The high school students Future Farmers of America combined efforts with other local chapters and collected stocking stuffers and assembled 40 Christmas stockings for soldiers.  It takes all of us to make a difference and characterizes the ‘family attitude’ so endemic to our focus here in the district. 


    It is that time of year when we are turning our attention to planning for the 2015-16 school year and beginning our budget and enrollment projections.  We are doing these early so that we can make any necessary adjustments well in time as we maintain open communication and institutional stability.  This is an important disciplined practice as prior planning does prevent poor performance…  I am including our most current demographic enrollment projections as I would like to have some feedback from you as to your thoughts on rather I should set our enrollment projections at the most conservative or least conservative projections.  This report documents Head Count enrollment projections for the period 2015 – 2020.  On page three you will find the overall projections by grade span. These will be used in our Capital Facilities Plan. There is a slight decline projected in enrollment in 2015, a stable 2016, and a trend of growth that will begin in 2017.  K-6 growth is expected to be fairly strong over the next six years with an increase of roughly 600 students. Over the same period of time enrollment at the secondary level is projected to decline by nearly 400 students. Overall, student enrollment is projected to increase by 211 over the next six years.   Again, these are simply projections and represent the ‘best guess’ we have at this time. 


    As you might recall, we have at times overshot and at other times undershot our enrollment projections and both scenarios have negative consequences.   Our demographer has not completed his final projections for AAFTE for next year but will be providing them to us soon. Currently his model is projecting the following for the 2015-16 school year: High: 9209.0; Low: 8786.1; BEST:  8947.8.  As you are out in the community, and know this community better than I, I would be interested in your thoughts as to rather or not you see more movement into the district v. movement out of the district.  We know there are a number of new homes being both planned and built; but, you never know how many children might occupy them.  As you know, this is a critical decision I must make, as the enrolment becomes the revenue driver upon which our budget and staffing is based.  Thank you for your assistance with this, I really appreciate it. 


    Like you, I share the excitement of our students in the fine and performing arts areas.  Particularly at this time of the year, we recognize how much richer our holiday experience is with the music, drama, and arts displays that are so abundant.  I want to share our arts participation numbers here in the district as I found them to be quite interesting.  We are a better district for our fine and performing arts experiences.  One might also argue, we are a better country for our preservation of the fine and performing arts.  At the elementary level, our participation continues to be strong as do our overall district numbers and those at the high school.  We are endeavoring to continue to build on the traditions of our strong fine and performing arts roots here in the district.  This is an important component of our Whole Child approach. 


    In remembering our fine and performing arts programs, and the many hours of time our talented staff in these content areas put in with students, I would encourage you to read the article recently done spotlighting our very own Gary Grams http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/teacher-spotlight-gary-grams-south-kitsap-high-school_88059740  I know that in recently speaking to a number of band students, they were very clear with me that Mr. Grams epitomizes the mantra of high expectations and high support. 


    Many have noted the following; “This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!” What a joyful wish to come true for each of you… 


    Warm wishes for a blessed and joyful holiday season,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 12/11/2014
    Wow, what a week.  As I write this, the wind is beginning to pick up and it seems as though the weather is a bit feisty out there.  With the trees dancing and the rain coming down in sheets, it appears to be a bit of a dark and stormy night…However, though dark and stormy the night, it could not keep Santa Claus from visiting EPO.  Ms. Katie Olson, music instructor at EPO, and her first and second graders, presented a fabulous play this evening to a packed house.  The ever intrepid Ms. Susan Petersen, a first grade teacher of 46 years, was seen assisting the ‘jack in the box’, with his role as the first graders were not sure what a jack in the box was ?? ;>)  It is such a blessing to see the joy of the children at this time of the year and we all so appreciate the hard work on the part of the staff and volunteers that make these nights and events possible.  Thank you to all those around the district assisting in these productions.  Well done. 


    I want to share that a member of our staff family has decided to retire.  Dave Colombini has decided to retire effective January 1 so that he might spend more time with his family.  Dave has had a long and distinguished career in education beginning in 1978.  Dave has worked in three school districts; Quilcene, Peninsula and the bulk of his time (thirty plus years) here in the South Kitsap School District.  Dave has been a mentor, friend, and inspiring leader to many students and staff over the years. We are a better district for his dedicated work and efforts over these many years.  I know you will join me in thanking Dave for his unflagging support and dedication to our district. 


    It has been a great week of coding for many of our students.  The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.  Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you heard about the Hour of Code last year, you might know it made history. In one week, 15 million students tried computer science!  We have had a number of students earning certificates for their hour of coding work.  The website if you would like more information on this event is www.code.org .  So far, we have had well over a thousand students in the district participating in this event.  I will have more final numbers next week.  Thank you so much to our Career and Technical (CTE) staff district wide for leading this critical work in our district.  It matters. 


    On December 5th, staff, students and parents celebrated the 31 years of employment and service of Sandra MacDiarmid to the South Kitsap School District.  Sandy began her career at Burley Glenwood Elementary school where she served in the Library, supervised the playground and worked in the office as part of the clerical staff.  She then made her move to Explorer Academy where she has spent the last 14 years as the Office coordinator and has become a fixture there providing flexibility and alternative opportunities for families in our school district became her passion.  Staff and students shared many memorable moments about the impact Sandy has had on them as either a colleague, mentor of students, a friend and even as a grandmother.  Thank you so much for your many years of service and dedication to the South Kitsap School District. 


    We had another staff member in the news, this time a South Colby Bobcat, Mr. Steve Kaio-Maddox; please take a look at the link and celebrate another great South Kitsap School District teacher.  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/teacher-spotlight-steve-kaiomaddox-south-colby-elementary_56965780  Thank you Steve. 


    Great start to our boys’ and girls’ basketball teams as they have big home wins this past week.  Go Wolves!  I also want to give a shout out to our NJROTC Precision Marksmanship Team that finished in the number 1 spot for NJROTC Area 13 during this year's Secretary of the Navy Postal Marksmanship Competition.  This will automatically qualify the team to compete at the regional competition in Phoenix, AZ in February.  Additionally, the team competed in the Junior Olympics qualifier last Saturday in Olympia.  Results are pending for that competition. CAPT Todd Schapler, USN (Ret), the Senior Naval Science Instructor at the high school, believes the SKHS Precision Marksmanship Team will continue to represent South Kitsap well wherever they compete.  We agree and are so proud of these young men and women.  Go Wolves!


    I want to take a moment and thank all of the teachers who recently participated in the SKEA survey.  I have had an opportunity to review the results with John and T. Michael and really appreciate the time and effort you have made to share your concerns.  I know that together we can work to improve our teaching and learning environment.  We also discussed the survey and its results at our monthly principal meeting this afternoon and I believe are coming up with some strategies to better support the classroom and teachers in our district.  We are listening and will be responsive.  More to come on this topic after the new year.  Thank you. 


    As the lights in the district office are now flickering (and the wind is howling) I think it best to scoot on home.  I trust all of you will have a safe and warm evening and that the storm will abate soon. 


    Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 12/5/2014

    What a great December week we are having.  I am simply thankful that the snow we had over the week-end did not require me to make a snow day decision ;>) As we are moving into the winter sports season, I want to take note of one of my favorites, Coach John R. Wooden (1910-2010); “If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”  It is amazing how many blessings we have to be thankful for, and how during this holiday season, it is so important to find time to simply be still…and remember and be grateful for these blessings large and small. 

    I know that all teachers and principals in the district can resonate with the ‘holiday TPEP work’ and find some comfort in the fact that even Santa Claus is on board ;>)

    North Pole  

    For the Ends 3 report at the recent Board meeting, members of the South Colby staff presented their work on STEM + Arts = Teams.  Their presentation was inspiring and their energy contagious.  I believe it is this energy driven by creative passion and our innate curiosity about what is possible – coupled with the commitment to make a difference in the lives of children and our communities near and far, that led many of us to make education our careers in the first place.  This report confirmed that as we work and strain at the edge of our craft, we must normalize error and embrace risk both for ourselves and our students.  Our future continues to be so bright as we embrace these possibilities.  Well done Bobcats. 

    I want to share the South Kitsap School District F196 Certification Page which describes the final budget status for the 2013-14 school year.  This is the document our business department prepares annually, and that I sign to certify and attest to the veracity of our annual budget reporting, and then it is sent to the State for final review and approval.  We have climbed back to a healthy financial ending fund balance.  This is the result of really hard work on your part and will enable us to be bondable at a better rate for possible future projects.  It will also enable us to stabilize our district so that we can be focused on our needs in a progressive and systematic manner as we move forward strategically.  Our Human Resources Department and Business Department have been busily working on position control documents so that we might also monitor budget to actual personnel accounting as we have added over thirty teaching positions this year over last year; with the addition of all-day kindergarten, elimination of most splits at the elementary level, and continue to endeavor to reduce class size per the contract, as well as working to maintain classified staffing in support of student needs and adding in places to cover the increased student enrollment.  The CBAT committee also reviewed the financials this past week and will continue to support this work.  

    Within the ending fund balance of approximately $8.9 million are various funds both from schools and departments that enable carry forward monies, inventory items, as well as State and Federal grant carry over monies.  That is to say, some of the general fund ending balance is restricted while other monies are unrestricted.  There are also increased revenues that are committed to levy projects of a capital nature; e.g., roofs, fire alarm systems, etc.
    I want to also note that this past week the Board reviewed the October financial report and we look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  I will be providing these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be evaluating additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.
    As we continue to move forward with Innovative Program ideas, I continue to receive interesting video material from staff.  This video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEmuEWjHr5c deals with the topic of technology and the concept of what will  really revolutionize education.  Many technologies have promised to revolutionize education, but so far none has. With that in mind, what could revolutionize education?  I also received an article from another staff member with a provocative high school design idea.  Another great collaborative time topic. 

    I wish you a fantastic week-end and trust you will find time amidst the busyness of the season to be still...

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 11/26/2014

    It is at this time of the year, we are often reminded of all the things we are thankful for.  While it is so easy to at times succumb to that bit of ‘grinch--ness’ about all the things that we wish we had, or have been disappointed about, or that we think could be done better, or ??.  It is so important for us individually, and as a culture within the district and the community, to remember and be thankful for all the blessings large and small that are ours each and every day.  We have so many… 


    Each year SKSD staff members participate in charitable giving.  This year, 120 staff members committed to more than $35,000 in payroll deductions! More information charitable giving program can be found at this link. It is such an honor to serve such charitable staff members.  Our community is better for this generosity. 


    I want to share the news that Caitlyn Wilhelm and Matt Collins were selected this week as students in the 2014-15 Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) program. In researching the program, it appears that Caitlyn and Matt are only the third and fourth students from South Kitsap to be selected since the program started in 2006. Furthermore, Ms. Bev Painter, our very own SKHS Physics instructor, was also selected as a teacher for the WAS program this year.  About the program: http://www.museumofflight.org/was . I am so proud and thankful for all the contributions of our SKSD teachers and support staff; thank you for continuing to provide opportunities for these high achieving students -- Caitlyn and Matt!  Well done. 

    We were very fortunate to connect with the “Kitsap Shop with a Cop” project.  Ten years ago, different law enforcement agencies joined together to start this program. The program chooses a different school district each year. This is the second time South Kitsap School District has been chosen.  They have expanded from taking 28 South Kitsap children to 104 this year. This program affords children who may otherwise not have the opportunity to shop for the holidays. In addition the children are partnered with a uniformed officer or deputy for their shopping trip. This program provides transportation and $125 for each child to shop on December 13th at the Poulsbo Wal-Mart. Thank you to Lt. Penelope Sapp with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, and President of the Kitsap Shop with a Cop Board for reaching out to our district and for making this holiday brighter for our students.  Many thanks to Ariane Shanley, our Food and Nutrition Services Director, for coordinating this program for the district this year. 


    This fall, the Kitsap Sun has highlighted two of our fantastic SKSD teachers.  We are so thankful for their supportive work with our learners.  Trish Taormina from Hidden Creek: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/teacher-spotlight-trish-taormina-hidden-creek-elementary_99623279 and Wendy Jelinek from Orchard Heights:

    http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/teacher-spotlight-wendy-jelinek_55992814 .  Well done!! 


    There are so many staff members that continue to go above and beyond each and every day to serve our students.  Gloria Parks, our district laundry person, reports that from 1993 to the end of the fall football season this year, 11/18/14, that she has cleaned 5809 shoulder pads!  With the comprehensive responsibilities for all laundry in the district, from almost every department and school and program in the district, she has also recently taken on the laundry for the NJROTC.  Gloria began her work with the school district in 1973, with Food and Nutrition Services, and started her laundry career for the district on October 19, 1981. We are so thankful for her dedicated service to the district.  Tom O’Brien, our Director of Facilities, remarks “She is the most dedicated employee I have ever encountered, and her support for the students of our community has been unwavering.”   There are many thankful students and families for her service over the years.  What an inspiration this model of caring service is to all of us…


    Mullenix Ridge had its’ first ever Family Engineering Night, attended by over 460 people.  Students and parents participated in a variety of engineering design challenges, such as building catapults, creating a closed electrical circuit, and designing an aerodynamic car.  The school partnered with PSNS STEM Outreach, Girl and Boy Scout troops, Naval hospital, and Washington State Engineering and Science Fair.  Teachers and the community groups ran stations with design challenges for students and families to work on throughout the evening.  There was also a ”family challenge” to create the tallest tower that was self-standing from a list of given materials.  The excitement and energy in the room was evident as families wanted to stay all evening.  What a great learning experience for our young students and their families.  Well done.


    And so,… For each new morning with its light,
                      For rest and shelter of the night,
                      For health and food, for love and friends,
                      For everything Thy goodness sends.
                                                        ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


    I wish you and your families a happy, blessed and safe Thanksgiving….


    Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 11/20/2014
    It continues to be an incredible month with so many exciting opportunities for robust learning.  I had the opportunity this week to be in a primary grade classroom with students studying ‘matter’ and noting its characteristics in their science journal.  The excitement in the classroom was palpable.  The engagement was contagious.  Who would know that monster truck characteristics could be so riveting?  That being said, I continue to be concerned with the mixed messages on testing and graduation requirements we continue to be buffeted by from those in legislative and ‘oversight’ positions.  
    Former President Jimmy Carter often spoke of his teacher in Plains, GA who had the message, “We must adjust to changing times, but cling to unchanging principles.”  In our house, we will continue to focus on the needs of the whole child and trust our professional judgment in maintaining high expectations for all students — no exceptions.  
    Some of you have been asked for data recently.  South Kitsap and the other districts in ESD 114 are the focus of this year’s OSPI Consolidated Program Review (CPR).  The CPR monitors 16 federal and state funded programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  South Kitsap has 13 of the 16 programs being monitored such as Title I, Part A, Learning Assistance Program, Civil rights, McKinney-Vento, and Career and Technical.  The CPR is comprised of two components, a desk top review whose documentation requirements are outlined in a 94 page OSPI developed checklists and a site visit.  South Kitsap’s program documentation is due by November 26th.  The onsite visit is scheduled for January 8th.  The onsite visit will consist of a team of OSPI program supervisors who will conduct a review of federal and state programs in our district.  They will also be visiting multiple school sites on that day.  The CPR checklist can be viewed at http://www.k12.wa.us/ConsolidatedReview/default.aspx
    The following is the estimated testing time for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments as posted by OSPI.  These are being looked at in context for decision making regarding the best mode for our upcoming assessments.  You will be hearing more on this topic from building principals in the coming weeks.  
    Summative ASsessments
    Below, is the calculated cost for the district to purchase paper and pencil tests for our students.  I find it reprehensible that we be charged to assess our students when the State has not supported the technology funds and infrastructure needs necessary to provide the optimal on-line testing option.  That being said, we are in the midst of decision making regarding the best path for our students as this is a great deal of money that we might otherwise use for purchasing technology or other support needs for our students. 


    Paper/Pencil Administration Costs

    Grade Level









    $    8,256.00





    $    8,544.00





    $    8,880.00





    $    8,628.00





    $    8,592.00





    $    9,012.00





    $    8,784.00



    $    30,348.00

     $   30,348.00

     $  60,696.00

    Building principals are working these details out with the collaborative support of our IT department and Teaching and Learning Department.  More to come on this topic.

    PSE is excited to offer up to $300 per PSE classified staff member for professional development. The funds are limited and staff need to download and fill out the form which is available on the district website under “Classified Staff”.  All forms need to be sent to Paula Rossa who is the PSE Professional Development Coordinator. This is a great opportunity for staff to get assistance for class fees, books, and materials for classes, book studies, and seminars. I hope everyone chooses to take advantage of this great opportunity!

    A work topic for the current year is the review of our current copier situation in the district and a selection of the best pathway for our future copier needs.  Our Budget Department will lead this work with collaborative input from you as well.  To that end, I am sharing this chart which outlines the current 2013-2014 copier maintenance and lease fees by building and department.  With regard to the work plan, this is the timeline for the copier refresh.  Given the budget implications, this is important work and worthy of our time and attention.  

    The Kitsap Sun recently published an article, “Washington Graduation Test Rules Up For Debate”, which looks at graduation testing and the transition to the new national common core standards. The State Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction want Washington lawmakers to reconsider which tests are required for high school graduation.  I have to say that now more than ever it is important for us to trust ourselves about what we are doing with the education of our children.  More to come on this topic.  


    Finally, take a moment to review this YouTube video, "A Study on Praise and Mindsets" from Carol Dweck, that was shared with me by a retired staff member who participates in the Communication Roundtable meetings each month.  This short video clip illustrates the critical role our language plays in the achievement and experience our children have with teaching and learning every day.  Another provocative thought…

    Please enjoy a great week-end.  Next week, I will provide the Thursday Memo on Wednesday as we will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 11/13/2014

    What another incredible week!!  I am so impressed with the talent in this great district.  I have attended multiple Veterans Day Concerts and have been so moved by the  performances and heartfelt sentiments shared by our young people.  The respect and appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform is so important.  We owe them such a debt of gratitude for so many things both large and small.  I know these events require a great deal of effort and attention to detail on the part of so many staff in our schools.  It matters.  It also reminds us of the importance our fine and performing arts play in the story of our great nation.  It is the music that touches our souls in a manner that words alone cannot.  Thank you.


    I also had the privilege of attending the Veterans Day Celebration at our local Washington Veterans Home here in Port Orchard on Veterans Day morning.  I was so proud of our young NJROTC students as they played a significant role in the celebration of this special day.  Retired Captain Todd Schapler, one of our Naval Science Instructors at the high school, gave the poignant and inspiring keynote speech for the event.  Retired Senior Chief Harold Vickers, our other Naval Science Instructor, provided guidance to our young cadets as they mingled with the veterans at the home.  Members of our SKHS Highlighter Choir, under the direction of Mike Allen, our SKHS vocal music director, provided a beautiful musical selection enriching the program for the attending veterans and their guests.  It was a memorable event both for who we celebrated and the spirit with which we celebrated. 


    As the year progresses, there are many innovative programs emerging around the district.  I would like to highlight one of these that involves a new collaborative STEM grant awarded to two of our schools.  South Colby Elementary and John Sedgwick Junior High have been selected to be among 45 schools across Washington State to participate in a cutting-edge STEM and project based learning initiative. This initiative will provide teachers with stronger professional development in math and science teaching aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.  The professional development initiative uses state of the art video technology, demonstrated by teacher Jeff Winn, Jr., that enables teachers to take charge of their own professional learning. Teachers are able to use two styles of cameras to record and reflect on STEM lessons taught in their own classrooms with peers and STEM professionals. STEM-PD is part of the Washington STEM initiative.  Washington STEM is a statewide, nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  Launched in March 2011 with the support from the business, education, and philanthropic communities, the goal is to re-imagine and revitalize STEM education across Washington.  For a statewide list of schools participating in the initiative, go to www.washingtonstem.org/stem-pd.  Many thanks to Sara Hatfield and the Career and Technical Education Department of the district in doing the legwork on applying for this innovative grant.  This truly looks to be an innovative approach to professional development and links us to incredible resources.  Thank you. 


    As I was out this evening visiting a parent meeting, Val Kimball (formerly Gilstrap), our Indian Education Liaison for the district, shared some great student achievement data with me.  I thought it would be nice to share the academic success of our Native American students.  In all academic areas, these students are outperforming their state counterparts.  Our Native American students also continue to maintain a strong graduation rate which was 73% last year.  We are so proud of our student achievement and continue to be blessed to have Ms. Kimball supporting our students.  She is such an inspiration to so many. 


    As I continue my insatiable appetite for interesting research articles that might be a bit provocative, I would like to share the article our principal team reviewed this afternoon.  The article, Teach up for Excellence, by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Edwin Lou Javius, supports the premise that ‘all students deserve equitable access to an engaging and rigorous curriculum.’  What I particularly find engaging about this article is that it speaks to many practices we all hold dear while applying to any content we might find ourselves instructing.  There are certain universal instructional truths that apply to all content and all levels of student capacity and achievement.  This enables a broad discussion, whether we are in elementary or secondary schools,  qualitative or quantitative content genre, etc.  Please share any interesting observations you might have.


    Enjoy a great November week-end, 


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 11/6/2014

    What a great week we are having, though it is hard to believe it is the last week of October.  I trust that each of you will be having a Happy Halloween.  Also, a big shout out to the SKHS Girls’ Soccer Team as they clinched the Narrows League Championship last night.  Well done girls, Coach Cain and staff !!  We are proud of you !!


    As promised, I am providing a timeline for the Strategic Planning work we are doing this winter.  This work is moving forward and is critical for setting our district direction through 2020.  As we work to envision our ‘preferred future state’ we will be engaging with students, staff, families and the community.  This work is centered on what I will continue to be referring to as ‘the instructional core’ or the teaching and learning work done in the classroom.  The instructional core is the three way relationship between the students, teacher, and content.  There will be more to come as this process continues to unfold.  Please consider joining the conversation.  It matters.


    This past week-end, we had some wicked weather which created several schedule snarls for us. Most of the buildings within our district were affected. The impact on our high school was greater than the other buildings. A district owned high voltage electrical transformer located behind the high school was damaged when the system was re-energized. This transformer fed the auxiliary gym, the girls locker room, the laundry, the wrestling room, weight room and all of our stadium lighting. Puget Sound Energy was able to restore power to most of the high school by 11:00am Sunday. After power was restored, our intrepid Facilities Department staff worked around the clock with a variety of electrical contractors, parts distributors and POTELCO for nearly three days to troubleshoot and restore the damaged high school transformer to service. They were happy to report that the transformer was repaired and the building restored to 100% electrical service by 3:00pm Wednesday.  The resolution of the problem and restoration of power to our athletic areas and stadium was the direct  result of the hard work, long hours and spectacular  teamwork of the Facilities Department. Key personnel who were directly involved in getting us back on line included Nate Morrison, Don Simpson, Don Prichard, Ron Culverhouse, Butch Garber, Don Fike, Patrick Wilson, Guy Smith and Mike Riley.  We are so grateful for the dedicated work of this great team.  Well done !!


    With the recent school tragedy in Marysville, we have been reviewing security and safety procedures and practices in the district.  Our School Board recently held a Town Hall meeting on security and safety issues in September, we have continued to monitor safety and security drills across schools, the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) has met to review our practices, Board President Chris Lemke and I attended a regional security and safety meeting with first responders and district leadership from our region, etc.  I believe that as a district, we continue to make the safety of our students and staff a top priority.  That being said, if you have a particular safety or security concern or question, I would appreciate you sharing it with me or with your school principal.  We want to make sure we are addressing all topics ad concerns. 


    As part of the work we are doing across the district, I have received the following link from several teachers, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/10/24/teacher-spends-two-days-as-a-student-and-is-shocked-at-what-she-learned/ and thought it might be interesting to share with all of you.  This blog chronicles the experience one teacher had when viewing a school system from the point of view of a student.  If any of you are interested in such a research project, please do let me know and we can dialog about how this might be possible.  Again, I share this link as an invitation to a much larger conversation; one which you might discuss during a collaboration session for example.  I think it is interestingly provocative. 


    For the upcoming Board meeting, as a continuing part of my evaluation, we will be reviewing Executive Limitation 12, Instructional Program, and Executive Limitation 13, Instructional Material Selection.  These are two critical areas of our district work and ones that our Teaching and Learning Department have been diligently working on for the past several years.  It is another reason that district wide committees are in place and reviewing content areas, professional development, and assessment practices. 


    Finally, Friday afternoon, I will be sending an alternative memo, the Friday Footnotes version of this memo, for those who might prefer a more abridged and bulleted version. 


    Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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